Cherish the Moments

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When Ray and I left the homeschool convention in St. Charles on Saturday evening, we drove to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where Ray was a minister from 1985 to 1993, for a church reunion.

Beautiful, flat Central Illinois.

Among the many people with whom we cherished spending time were Loren (age 94) and Marilyn (age 88). They have been married about three years. Both had lost their spouses a few years before. Loren and Berneice and Marilyn and Fred had gone to church together for decades. Their children had grown up together.

On Sunday, Marilyn told me, “I don’t have to be lonely anymore.” She also said, “Loren spoils me. He helps me make the bed in the morning. If I am washing dishes, he comes and dries them and puts them away.”

Having known and loved Loren and Berneice and Fred and Marilyn, I don’t guess anyone was as surprised as I was when, all of a sudden, someone sent me a wedding picture of Loren and Marilyn. I had no idea that match was in the works. I wasn’t only surprised. I was tickled pink.

On Sunday Marilyn told me about Loren’s proposal. After spending time together as friends, he said, “Let’s not be lonely anymore.”

After they married, they spent several months living one week at his house and then the next week at hers. Then, they decided to make things easier. They moved into an assisted living facility where they have their own apartment. Marilyn told me that on Wednesdays, someone comes in to change the sheets, vacuum the floor, and clean the bathroom. “We get out of the way,” she said. “Loren goes to meet with his husbands of wives with Alzheimer’s group [a group he joined during Berneice’s last years and with whom he still enjoys fellowship], and I go visit at the nursing home.”

When the fellowship meal was over after church on Sunday morning, Loren busied himself helping put away the tables in the multi-purpose room where we had worshipped and then eaten.

Loren and Marilyn told us about their plans to fly to Colorado next month for the wedding of one grandchild and then to Oregon the next month for the wedding of another. Serving hearts married to one another and no longer lonely. Loving and connected to children and grandchildren. Now those are wonderful ways to grow old. Until then, let’s cherish our every moment with those we love.

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35


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